09 July 2010

My Own Paparazzi

I constantly think about blogging, and how to do it better. There's nothing "right" or "wrong," but ...

I read a lot of others' blogs. Sometimes just a post, other times devouring everything a blogger has written and following her recommendations for other blogs. (Recently Better Off Wed and Motherload ... you can see where my priorities lie) I'm always on the lookout for more, for inspiration, for entertainment.

And I'm noticing some trends, at least among what I read. Although it's not entirely coalesced in my mind in a way that can easily be articulated I do want to talk/write/think about the blog as self promotion and self documentation (self preservation?).

I do see that basically we can use a blog, when we're writing about ourselves, as our own gossip magazine. The blogger is the editor and star. Photos of thrifty/clever outfits and cute write-ups of adventures. Using phrasing and poses and layouts reminiscent of US Weekly, Life & Styles, etc. But leaving out the self-snark ... any snark will be directed to others (or launched on Facebook, which is an even more popular way of self promotion than blogging).

(I don't read gossip mags on a regular basis, because I would basically break the bank if I got started, but I do enjoy Jezebel's weekly feature Midweek Madness ... which generated this post idea.)

And I kind of love it. I'm not adept at it, because my life feels just ... so vanilla. But others can -- and do -- turn a hum-drum life into a humming blog enterprise, complete with sponsors and giveaways and actual readers.

I don't get dressed up ... ever, so daily outfit posts are out. And even if I did, I'm not sure my style is worth publishing or that I'd be able to stand a blog with photo after photo of myself. Weight loss is out of the question; I think it's boring. I can't crochet enough ... or make up my own patterns ... to justify a crochet-focused blog. Writing about the job hunt just seems like a bad idea. Hair and makeup? Don't make me laugh! (Although perhaps I should start thinking about what content I can and do create instead of what this blog can't be.)

Like I've written before, I love the archive I'm creating. A record of myself and my life. And I'm OK that the value goes no farther than me and a few close associates. I'm not sure about taking a next step and making entertaining others -- the anonymous blog-o-verse -- my top priority. (And scared/certain that if I tried I'd be a big fat failure!)

Some of my favorite blogs are really open and honest. Including about their kids. In a Jon & Kate Plus 8 kind of way you can see the kids grow up, with everything documented, even if you're a total stranger. (And most often I am ... I can't think of any of my new parent friends who blog about their kids, or anything for that matter.)

And although this is so getting ahead of myself and future thinking I don't know if I could open up my child's life to that kind of scrutiny EVEN IF no one was reading. But at the same time I would love to make use of the new media tools and my straight up LOVE of blogging to document the experience from trying to conceive (TTC) through birth to Kindergarten, high school graduation and everything in between. Turning the traditional baby book on its head. BUT it's a little too personal, invasive and possibly weird. (Also, what happens when kid #2 comes along? Does she get her own blog, or do you fold them together in one overarching family blog?)

But I think about Erma Bombeck and how amazingly she wrote column after column about her life and managed to maintain her family's dignity and general privacy while spilling the best, funniest parts of their lives. And there are bloggers out there doing the same who I'd like to emulate. So much to consider, and clearly putting the cart before the horse with pre-worrying...

Bottom line - I don't know what I'm doing. I'm just doing it because this is what I do, with a healthy pinch of narcissism thrown in for good measure. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

Sydney said...

I've been thinking along these lines too. Thinking that my blog should have a theme and a purpose. Instead of starting a new, perhaps hone the one I've started into what it should be. I want to inspire by sharing the importance of God in my life and entertain by sharing the humor in my life and do it by means of blogging that has become integral in my life.